Economy, Domestic Economy

$3.9b Cash Subsidies Paid in 4 Months

$3.9b Cash Subsidies Paid in 4 Months$3.9b Cash Subsidies Paid in 4 Months

The government paid 137 trillion rials ($3.87 billion) in cash subsidies during the first four months of the current fiscal year (March 21-July 21), according to the spokesperson of the Majlis Planning and Budget Commission, Mohammad Mehdi Mofateh.

“Data has it that 75.2 million Iranians received the cash payments in the month of Tir (Iranian month ended July 21),” ISNA quoted him as saying.

The direct cash payment is part of the so-called Subsidy Reform Plan, which was introduced during former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s administration and passed by the parliament in January 2010.

As per the initial plan, heavy subsidies on food and fuel were removed and instead every Iranian was entitled to a monthly payment of 450,000 rials (about $13). However, amid the steep fall in oil export revenues over the past years and the effects of nuclear sanctions, the cash payment has apparently become prohibitive for the government and its shrinking treasury.

Last week the Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Affairs Ali Rabiei said four million people will be removed from the cash subsidy list as per a decision by the parliament, adding that 2.1 million had already been delisted.